Public sector workers have been advised to file for tax reliefs and enjoy the benefits, which will mitigate their tax burden.
Head of Compliance and Debt Management, Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Mr Victor Yao Akogo, explained that, “When the reliefs are applied it will be upfront should the employers effect it on the pay slips”.
He said the GRA is not only mandated to take taxes from the public but is also to ensure that tax payers got what was due them.
Mr Akogo said this during a workshop organised by the Civil and Local Government Staff Association, Ghana (CLOGSAG) on Personal Income Tax Returns for its members.
He mentioned some of the reliefs available to employees as GH¢1,200 for the married, GH¢600 per child schooling in Ghana (maximum of three children), 25 per cent for people with disability and GH¢1,000 for aged dependants (maximum of two).
Those who were 60 years or over, he indicated, could apply for a relief of GH¢1,500.
Mr Akogo noted that workers were also entitled to GH¢2,000 for cost of training if they embarked on a professional course, saying those that went on voluntary pension could apply for a GH¢13,000.00 tax relief.
He said in as much as the 1992 Constitution guaranteed the rights and freedom of the citizenry, they also went with certain duties and obligations, including paying of taxes.
Mr Akogo said his office would continue to educate the public on the need to file their tax returns on or before April, every year, to enjoy the benefits from the beginning of the following year.
He however bemoaned that the manual processing of the forms had become a challenge for the Controller and Accountant General to give the go ahead for the reliefs to be granted.
Mr Adim Odoom, the Director of Revenue of CLOGSAG, called all citizens to satisfy their tax obligations by honestly declaring their income to the appropriate agencies.
He explained eligible tax payers to mean natural persons (workers) and legal persons (private or public organisations created by the natural persons).
Mr Isaac Bampoe Addo, the Executive Secretary of CLOGSAG, hinted that the Association would not take it lightly come 2021 if their tax reliefs were not granted.
To him, tax reliefs were a mirage instead of being real, and said for the past five years, members had applied for the reliefs but had not been granted.
Mr Addo said though government had enhanced the relief packages and been budgeted for, CLOGSAG was not enjoying any of it.
He blamed the inability of members to enjoy the reliefs on the feud between the GRA and the Controller and Accountant General’s Department, adding; “If nothing comes out of meeting the two, the Association would advise itself”.
Mr Muniru Alhassan, Risk Assessment Officer of the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) and a representative at CLOGSAG, suggested that copies of the pink sheets, resulting from the application, should be made available to the CAGD, the Ministries, Departments and Agencies for easy processing.